News / USA

Petraeus Testifies on Benghazi Attack

US Lawmakers Spar Over Petraeus Testimony About Benghazi Attacki
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Cindy Saine
November 17, 2012 2:45 AM
Former CIA Director David Petraeus testified behind closed doors Friday before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees -- about the deadly September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. As VOA Congressional Correspondent Cindy Saine reports, crowds of reporters and cameras were stationed on both sides of the U.S. Capitol, but Petraeus was completely shielded from view, just one week after he resigned as CIA director because of an extra-marital affair.
US Lawmakers Spar Over Petraeus Testimony About Benghazi Attack
Cindy Saine
Former CIA Director David Petraeus testified behind closed doors Friday before the House and Senate Intelligence Committees on the deadly September attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.  Crowds of reporters and cameras were stationed on both sides of the U.S. Capitol, but Petraeus was completely shielded from view, just one week after he resigned as CIA director because of an extra-marital affair.

The September 11th assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead.  The government's precautions against such an attack, and its response when the American compound was overrun and burned, is now at the center of an increasingly bitter fight on Capitol Hill between President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies, on the one hand, and congressional Republicans.

Republican Congressman Peter King says the Obama administration's account of the terrorist attack in Benghazi was changed to delete any reference to al-Qaida involvement.

"As far as General Petraeus' testimony today was, that from the start, he had told us that this was a terrorist attack or that there were terrorists involved from the start.  I told him in my questioning that I have a very different recollection of that. The clear impression that we were given was that the overwhelming evidence was that it arose out of spontaneous demonstrations," said King.

  • Yemeni protestors break a door of the U.S. Embassy during a protest about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Mohammed, Sana'a, Yemen, September 13, 2012.
  • Yemenis protest in front of the U.S. Embassy during a protest about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Mohammed, Sana'a, September 13, 2012.
  • Egyptian protesters burn tires as they clash with riot police outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, September 13, 2012.
  • An Egyptian protester throws back a tear gas canister toward riot police outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo, September 13, 2012.
  • A policeman stands in front of a police car set on fire by protesters in front of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, during clashes between protesters and police, September 13, 2012.
  • White House staff are pictured after they lowered the U.S. flag to half staff on the roof of the White House in Washington, September 12, 2012, following the death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens.
  • President Barack Obama delivers a statement with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, September 12, 2012
  • A burnt car is parked at the U.S. consulate, which was attacked and set on fire by gunmen, in Benghazi, Libya, September 12, 2012.
  • An exterior view of the U.S. consulate, which was attacked and set on fire by gunmen yesterday, in Benghazi September 12, 2012.
  • An interior view of the damage at the U.S. consulate, which was attacked and set on fire by gunmen yesterday, in Benghazi, Libya, September 12, 2012.
  • Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, was killed along with three of his staff on September 11, 2012 during a demonstration at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.  This photo was taken at his home in Tripoli, June 28, 2012.
  • A vehicle sits smoldering in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi late on September 11, 2012.
  • An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi, Libya, late on September 11, 2012.
  • U.S. Consulate in Benghazi in flames during protest, September 11, 2012

Shortly after the September attack the Central Intelligence Agency circulated "talking points" about the attack to senior U.S. officials. The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, relied on those background notes to discuss the Benghazi attack on television a few days later (September 16). She said the attack most likely grew out of spontaneous Libyan protests against a notorious anti-Muslim video.

Rice has been mentioned unofficially as a possible successor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who intends to leave her post in the coming months. The dispute over what happened in Benghazi has been cited repeatedly by Rice's critics - by Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John McCain of Arizona, in particular - who say they do not trust her.
 
Here is Senator McCain:

"Let's see what... Let's see what happens here. But we will do whatever is necessary to block the nomination that's within our power as far as Susan Rice is concerned," said McCain.

At a news conference this week, the president reacted angrily:

"If Senator McCain and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador who had nothing to do with Benghazi and ... to besmirch her reputation, is outrageous," said President Obama.

On Capitol Hill Friday, Democratic women lawmakers gathered to defend Rice against what they described as McCain and Graham's unfair and sexist attacks. Congresswoman Gwen Moore said she realizes some members of the opposition party are disappointed that they lost the presidential election.

"But to batter this woman because they do not feel that they have had the ability to batter President Obama, is something that we, the women, are not going to stand by and watch.  Their feckless and reckless speculation is unworthy of their offices as senators," said Moore.

Lawmakers say there will be more hearings on the Benghazi attack, which means there will likely be more partisan fights over what senior administration officials knew about the attacks and when they knew it.

Timeline of the Petraeus Scandal
Loading...

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid